As part of my 3-day birthday vacation, I scheduled Emily Bandor from Santa Cruz Bee Company for a consultation on my big hive. I’ve had this hive for about 8+ years, and the bee genetics are outstanding. Low mite counts, super friendly, and great at re-queening.
First was a mite check, and all looked good with a low mite count and some wax moth poop. We did notice about 3 worker bees with wing deformity. There was a good combination of frames full of honey, pollen, and brood at different stages. The original mother queen was laying, which we caught on video.
Besides the mother queen, there was an older queen cell, a queen cell, and two virgin queens. At this moment, Emily suggested we do a split. I had my hive and stand ready to go, fortunately.
We decided to put one of the virgin queens in the new split. I did not want the original mother queen to go into the new hive. If they are going to supercede her with the other virgin queen, at least we are not interfering in their natural process. I will keep an eye out for swarming too.
Emily and I are planning to check the new hive in April to make sure the virgin queen has mated and is laying.